Rap Genius Founder Forced to Quit Over Comments on Santa Barbara Shooter
Rap Genius co-founder Mahbod Moghadam has resigned from his position at the lyric site, after he made incredibly insensitive comments about the Santa Barbara shooter Elliot Rodger.
Elliot Rodger committed mass-murder in the Isla Vista neighborhood in Santa Barbara, with his 140-page "manifesto" being posted on the lyric-sharing site Rap Genius after the shooting. Rap Genius allowed users to add annotations to the manifesto, with Moghadam adding his own distasteful comments including a degrading remark about Rodger's sister, along with branding the manifesto "beautifully written" and "artful".
Regarding a passage in which Rodger references his sister, Moghadam wrote: “Elliot barely mentions his sister Georgia throughout the book! Towards the end, however, he tells us that they did not get along and becomes extremely angry when he hears her having sex with her boyfriend. MY GUESS: his sister is smokin hot.”
In a post on the company's website, chief executive and co-founder of Rap Genius Tom Lehman addressed Moghadam's comments, writing: “Mahbod Moghadam, one of my co-founders, annotated the piece with annotations that not only didn’t attempt to enhance anyone’s understanding of the text, but went beyond that into gleeful insensitivity and misogyny. All of which is contrary to everything we’re trying to accomplish at Rap Genius.”
Moghadam addressed his comments to Gawker, saying: "I was fascinated by the fact that a text was associated with such a heartbreaking crime, especially since Elliot is talking about my neighborhood growing up.
"I got carried away with making the annotations and making any comment about his sisters was in horrible taste, thankfully the rap genius community edits out my poor judgment, I am very sorry for writing it."
Moghadam has been forced to resign from his job at Rap Genius and, if nothing else, this shows just how important the #YesAllWomen campaign is.
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